Akonadi Foundation was launched in 2000, a year after California voters approved Proposition 21, a racist ballot measure targeting and criminalizing young people of color. Although youth advocates lost the fight against Prop. 21, the movement that arose in opposition to this draconian initiative profoundly shaped Akonadi. They were, and continue to be, inspired by the youth activists and youth-led groups in the Bay Area and across the state who organized and led the charge against racial injustice more broadly.
Over the last two decades, Akonadi has supported over 1,800 organizations that have centered power-building and organizing to fuel a racial justice movement in our beloved Oakland. Today, they face an oppressive political and cultural environment that demands a focused approach to deepen the impact of their work. Akonadi is doubling down on their commitment to work collaboratively with organizers, as well as with their peers in philanthropy, to reduce the everyday oppression that criminalizes young people of color.
MISSION AND VALUES
Akonadi Foundation’s mission is to support the development of powerful social change movements to eliminate structural racism and create a racially just society.
To transform the climate in Oakland to one of compassion, respect, and dignity for youth and young people of color.
Using an ecosystem grantmaking lens, Akonadi supports and nurtures grassroots organizing, culture shift, and policy changes that build Oakland’s racial justice movement. Since its founding in 2000, the Foundation has given over 1,600 grants totaling $35 million to nonprofit organizations, primarily in the Bay Area but also across the country.
We envision a world where youth and young adults of color are:
treated with compassion, dignity, and respect in schools and in community life;
valued as community members and assets to the city; and
assured of the support and opportunities they need to heal from harm, to become leaders, and to learn and grow.
They support the development of a powerful social change movement to eliminate structural racism and create a racially just society.
Communities of Color in Leadership
Efforts to achieve racial justice must be defined and led by the communities of color most affected by structural racism.
This work must be grounded in the knowledge that as systems and structures oppress, demean, and even take the lives of individuals of color, these systems and structures simultaneously injure other groups — women, for example, or economically exploited populations — and that any person or group may suffer from multiple socially/politically imposed disadvantages.
Leadership from the Field
Effective foundations support and are led by the ideas, innovations, and needs of organizations directly involved in the work of racial justice.
Cultural strategies can play a powerful role in changing hearts and minds, ultimately shaping policies and practice.
To build and sustain community power and racial justice movement building, Akonadi Foundation focuses our funding on ecosystem grantmaking. The term highlights the importance of the diverse web of relationships among the communities, organizations, and political formations that Akonadi supports.
They believe that this approach is an effective, comprehensive, and values-driven way to support the work of successful movements for racial justice and social change. They also believe that to achieve maximum success in building the capacity of racial justice movements, they must not only identify and support people and organizations that explicitly think, act, and talk about racial justice; they must also encourage collaboration and coordination among those organizations. As part of this approach, they fund organizations that do base-building work as well as their key allies and partners.See more